Note: This is a continuation to Crazy in Love – part 13.
Chapter 14 – The mothers connivance
For a week, Richard and Maya didn’t have any communication. Richard returned to Manila on a Monday while Maya stayed for one more week until her mother was released from the hospital. Neither Maya or Mama Teresita told Kute about the cause of the heart attack. Mama Tessie has started to speak again to Maya but not discussing about the marriage of Richard and Maya.
Before Maya returned to Manila, she noticed a change in her mother’s
behavior to being upbeat again after she spent an afternoon with Mama Esme. It seemed that the elder ladies had a good conversation.
Earlier, Mama Esme and Mama Tessie were alone in the dela Rosa garden talking about Richard and Maya. Mama Tessie has just been released from the hospital.
“Tessie, may ikukwento ako sa’yo. I hope hindi ka atakihin ha?” Mama Esme teased her friend as she planned on telling her the conversation she had with Richard and Maya the week earlier.
“Mare, okay na ako. Masyado lang akong nabigla. Biro mo 10 years wala tayong kaalam-alam. Anyway, kakausapin ko pa si Maya kung anong plano n’ya or nila.” Mama Tessie explained her side.
“Ay naku, Mare, eto nga ang kwento ko. Ewan ko kung matutuwa ka. Pero makinig ka muna. Patapusin mo muna ako para buo ang kwento.” Mama Esme’s prelude prepared the other mother for the story that was to be told.
It took a few minutes before Mama Esme completed the story. Although she promised Richard and Maya that the deal was going to be a secret, she needed Mama Tessie’s support in her plan.
“Naku… Mare… parang lugi naman ang anak ko sa set-up na ‘yan.” Mama Tessie expressed her apprehension.
“Anong lugi? It will be just for 2 years or it could end earlier, depende sa kanilang dalawa. In a way, we are just setting them up. It’s the only way I can think of right now for them to start realizing they are meant for each other.”
“Pero, alam mo na, magkasama sila sa bahay? Paano kung may mangyari and then tapos maghihiwalay lang din pala sila.”
“Ahh yun ba? Mare, modern na ang mga bata ngayon. Assuming meron nga, di mas maganda, baka magka-apo tayo. Saka na natin isipin ‘yan. Anyway, sa palagay mo ba walang nangyari d’yan sa dalawa noon? They were in Baguio for several days. They were in Manila unsupervised by parents dahil tayo ay nasa San Nicolas. Pero Mare, sa paniwala ko talaga may pag-asang magkabalikan ang dalawa. Kaya nga ginamitan ko na ng taktika ang dalawa. Si Maya ay mukhang papayag pero si Ricky ko ang nagmamatigas.”
“O kaya nga, baka ang anak ko ang luhaan sa ending nito, Mare.” Mama Tessie was worried for her daughter’s sake.
“So, tayong dalawa ang susuporta sa kanila. We can play cupid. Si Ricky is not the type who will have a change of heart easily. He can be stubborn but I believe meron pa ‘yang nakatago na soft spot for Maya.” Mama Esme was trying to be positive.
“Mare, ikaw ang nakakakilala sa anak mo. Ayaw ko lang masaktan ang anak ko.” Mama Teresita said firmly.
“Tessie, naalala mo nung mga bata pa sila? Si Ricky at si Cristina Rose ang laging magkalaro. Si Maya ang panggulo sa kanila. Si Ricky around 6 years old na si Maya around 2 noon. Inis na inis si Ricky kay Maya pero lagi naman hinahanap ‘yung isa pag wala. Di ba one time and Ricky innocently girlfriend daw nya si Maya?”
“Ha,ha,ha, Yung ang nagsimula ng tuksuhan na girlfriend n’ya si Maya. By the time alam na nya ang ibig sabihin ng girlfriend, itinigil na natin kasi nagagalit na si Richard. Nakalakihan n’yang kinukulit s’ya ni Maya.” Mama Tessie reminisced with her friend.
“At tandaan mo, during college days nila, ng umuwi for Christmas vacation, biglang nagdeclare itong Richard na sila na ni Maya. So, I think itong dalawang ito ay meant to be. So, sana magsuportahan tayo.” Mama Esme giving more assurance to her friend.
Two weeks later
Maya was preparing to leave her shared condo unit with Emman to meet Mama Esme. The invitation was for lunch but she knew other than that, the elder lady would ask about their decision.
For the past two weeks, Maya has thought about the request of their parents. Even her mother had expressed that she reconsider the annulment plan and try to keep the marriage. She weighed things from all angles and she remained opened to the idea. Additionally, there was one question that kept bugging her. Why would she always dream of him? They said that dreams are expressions of one’s desires. If that is true, then she must be wishing to married to him? The only way to find out is to agree on Mama Esme’s proposal. Somehow, she wasn’t averse to the idea.
Mama Esme, Richard and Maya were having lunch at a restaurant in Serendra.
“Ricky, Maya, alam n’yo na siguro why I invited you both here for lunch.” Mama Esme started to speak to the two. “May decision na ba kayo?” she looked at Richard and Maya to read their facial expressions.
“Ma, you’re blackmailing me.” Richard spoke; impatience clearly evident in his tone of voice.
“Maya, ikaw Hija, anong desisyon mo?” Mama Esme turned her attention Maya.
“Ah… eh.. actually, hindi ko pa po nakausap si Richard recently.” She looked at him. He looked like he was getting angry with her.
“Maya, I thought okay na plano natin.” Richard whispered while Mama Esme observed them; she was trying to hide her smile.
“Mag-usap tayo uli.” She whispered back.
“Ma, sandali lang at may pag-uusapan kami ni Maya.” Richard suddenly stood up and took Maya’s hand to go outside the restaurant.
It was only when they were outside and facing each other that Richard and Maya realized that they were holding each other’s hand. They immediately withdrew their hand.
“Maya, why am sensing you are going to agree to Mama’s request?” Richard asked her with his hands akimbo.
“Richard, pinag-isipan ko ‘tong mabuti. Katulad ng nasabi ko last time, I am open to the request of your mother.” Maya told him seriously.
“Maya, this is ridiculous. Pumapayag ka sa blackmail?” He was upset. It there is one thing he hates is being forced to do something that he doesn’t want.
“Richard what’s two years? Saka if your marketing team is good enough you can sell the property earlier than two years. So, I’m looking at this from a business perspective. Anyway, whether we both agree or not, immaterial din naman yon sa annulment right? Matutuloy din naman di ba, dahil we are just postponing it. Isa pa, ayaw ko munang dagdagan ang sama ng loob ng Mama ko.” Maya looked at him intently.
Richard didn’t respond but just stared back at her. In his mind, “So, she is really taking this as a business deal? And if she can take like a business arrangement, why can’t I? The deal is reasonable, it makes sense if only I leave out the emotion side of it.”
Since Richard just stood there thinking, Maya decided to go back to the restaurant to rejoin his mother.
“Tita, hintay lang po muna tayo kay Richard.” She smiled at the elder lady as she sat back in her chair.
“So ano anak, pumapayag ka na ba kayo” Mama Esme sounded hopeful.
“Si Richard na lang po ang mag sasabi ng final decision.” was Maya’s response.
Moments later, Richard came back and sat on his chair.
“Alright Ma, we have a deal.” He looked at Maya intently as he gave his answer to his mother.
“Very good Ricky. Now, you are acting like a good son.” Mama Esme was all smiles while she held the hands of Richard and Maya. She felt like a winner. “We should celebrate, how about some wine? What would you like guys?” She offered.
Richard responded quickly. “No need Ma. I’m going back to the office. Anyway, since lunch is over, I think I’ll go ahead.” He declared.
“Wait Ricky, we’re not done yet. Let’s plan on your moving in together. Your Dad and I are giving you and Maya a condo unit nearby.” She ecstatically announced to the two.
Upon hearing her announcement, Richard and Maya said at the same time. “What? “Po?”
“Anong what? You’ll be moving in together and so we thought we should be giving you a house.” Mama Esme rephrased what she said earlier.
“Ma, I have to speak to Summer about all of these.” Richard blurted.
“Ricardo, you know my position about Summer. Today or two years from now, I still think she is not for you.” Mama Esme’s eyes rolled upwards as she expressed her opinion.
“Anyway, you agreed to stay married with Maya. Are you going for the dating-dating stage? You are past that phase. Anong klaseng mag-asawa ang nakatira sa magkaibang bahay? You’ve done that kind of arrangement for 10 years. Now, let’s talk business as in married business.” Mama Esme was emphatic on the living together arrangement.
Maya just listened to the mother and son argue again. She was focused on thinking who Summer is than thinking that she will be actually living with him in the next 2 years. Realizing that Summer maybe his girlfriend, she felt a tiny pinch in her chest.
Later that same afternoon, Richard and Maya found themselves alone in their new condo unit.
Before Mama Esme left them, she gave them further reminders.
“Since both of you are in the business of homes, you can decorate your new place as how you would like it. Ang bilin ko lang sa inyo, kung magkakaroon kayo ng hindi pagkakaunawaan, huwag nyong patatagalin. Huwag kayong matutulog ng magkagalit. At ang wedding ring nyo, I expect to see next time that you are wearing it. Asan pala ang wedding ring n’yo? Nawala ba? I can get you a new one. Consider it as another gift.”
“No need Ma, Tita” Both Richard and Maya responded.
“Ha? Bakit, nandyan pa sa inyo?” She asked curiously.
Both nodded in response. In Mama Esme’s thoughts “Hmmm, See, tinago pala ang kanilang ring which means may value sa kanila ang wedding nila. Naku Tessie, magandang balita ito.” She left the two with a big smile on her face.
After going around the house, Richard said to Maya. “Since we are going to be in this situation for 2 years, I think we should have some rules. What do you think?”
“Okay sa akin Richard. I think that’s a good idea. If you didn’t bring it up, I will suggest it to you.” Maya started to pull out iPad to start taking notes.